(CBS4) – The Colorado National Guard has been called in to help with the response to the state’s Thanksgiving week snowstorm, which is expected to dump up to two feet of snow in some places. Gov. Jared Polis approved a resource request for Colorado National Guard troops along with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.
Snow is expected overnight Monday and most of the day Tuesday. A Winter Storm Warning was issued for Denver, northern Colorado and northeastern Colorado. Fort Collins could pick up 16 to 22 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon and 8 to 13 inches is expected in the Denver area.
The Colorado National Guard is expected to deploy Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSV) to help with response and rescue efforts. The SUSV, which is capable of traversing almost any terrain, is the primary vehicle used by the Colorado Army National Guard’s Snow Response Team. It can be used to assist state and local rescue teams during nearly every type of disaster, state emergency or search and rescue. The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control will also use Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTV) to respond to any weather-related incidents.
State officials are asking drivers to stay off the roads overnight Monday. The National Weather Service advises, “Conditions will NOT be favorable for the busy holiday travel period leading up to, during, and after Thanksgiving, especially in the mountains.”
As the snow starts to accumulate, snow plow crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation will focus on primary roads in an effort to reduce impacts to the main highways. CDOT officials said road closures are possible depending on conditions.
Tuesday is expected to be the busiest travel day of the week at Denver International Airport with more than 196,000 travelers. Some airlines have canceled flights in advance of the storm or are offering travel waivers. As of Monday night, more than 400 flights were cancelled Tuesday at DIA.